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Woolly bears, Great Lakes ice, Monarch caterpillar, gar: Notes, Chicago outdoors

Monarch caterpillar.
Provided/Ken Gortowski

[UPDATED] Notes from around Chicago outdoors.

FIELD NOTES

WILD OF THE WEEK

Ken Gortowski lobbied for a new category, “Monarch Caterpillar of the Week.’’ “Only five so far this year,’’ he emailed.“We’ve had up to 50 in years past. This is the first one to head for chrysalis stage.’’

Wild of the Week, the celebration of wild scenes and photos around Chicago outdoors, runs as warranted on Sundays on the Sun-Times outdoors page. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

DALE’S MAILBAG

Woolly bear in July, Orland Grasslands.<br>Provided/Tom Turke
Woolly bear in July, Orland Grasslands.
Provided/Tom Turke

“[On Tuesday],we biked Orland Grasslands, 960 acres of nature at 167th and LaGrange Road. Woolly bear caterpillars were quite common crossing the bike path. Common in late September or October, but I have never noticed them on a hot, humid, July day.’’ Tom Turek

A: That is intriguing. But I only begin looking for woolly bears when fall harvest is underway to “divine’’ the winter forecast. I’m half serious.

BIG NUMBER

Over 8: Feet in length of the alligator gar, with a girth of 43 inches, caught and released by Capt. Bubba Bedre, of Garzilla Guide Service, in Texas

Huge alligator gar.<br>Provided
Huge alligator gar.
Provided

LAST WORD

“The decreasing maximum ice extent of Great Lakes ice is due to a combination of natural climate influences as well as influences from man-made climate change.’’

Tom Di Liberto, on climate.gov, in “Great Lakes ice cover decreasing over last 40 years’’ Click here for the full article.

WILD TIMES

FISH GATHERING

Tuesday: Corey Tedesco on ““Carp: The Biggest Fish You’ll Likely Catch,” Arlington Anglers, Hoffman Estates Cabela’s, 6:30 p.m.

YOUTH

Saturday: Inaugural Lake County Outdoor Education Day (trap shooting, archery, rifle range, obstacle course, hunter safety trail), Richmond Hunt Club, facebook.com/lakecountyoutdooreducation

ILLINOIS PERMITS

Saturday: Final day, second lottery, free dove hunting permits. Click here for more information.

HUNTER SAFETY

(Click here for full package of northeast Illinois hunter safety classes)

Aug. 10-11: Wilmington, philliparnold3@gmail.com

Aug. 11-12: Custer Park, smittythepainter@yahoo.com . . . Essex, (815) 458-3568

Aug. 17-18: Morris, philliparnold3@gmail.com

WINGSHOOTING CLINIC

(Click here for the statewide list)

Aug. 18-19: Youth/Women’s clinics, Shabbona Lake State Park, (217) 524-5466

U.S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY

(Click here for full listings of classes in the area)

Saturday: About Boating Safely, Fox Lake, Winston Tumaneng, winstoncgaux@gmail.com

DUCKS UNLIMITED

(Click here for the general list of Illinois DU events)

NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION

(Click here for general list of banquets and events)

PHEASANTS FOREVER

(Click here for general list of Illinois PF events)